Read in the Digest:
- Bitcoin recovers from “winter” to set new monthly high, XRP Closes in on 5th.
- Sequoia leads $450 million Polygon investment, KPMG adds BTC and Ether.
- Cash App enables Lightning Network, Meta freezes Novi digital wallet.
- Google Cloud integrates crypto mining malware threat detection feature.
Bitcoin Recovers from “Winter” to Set New Monthly High, XRP Closes in on 5th
Continuing its strong run that gathered momentum over the weekend, Bitcoin’s value has gained by an additional 5% to rise to its highest level in over a month. Bitcoin’s recent gains saw its price peak at $45,300, a level last reached on January 5th.
With Bitcoin now stabilizing at around the $43,800 mark, some analysts have suggested that sentiment around the world’s largest crypto may be transitioning to being bullish. Over the last week, Bitcoin has now made gains of 15%, helping the global crypto market cap reclaim the $2 trillion point.
The 24 hour price chart for Bitcoin (BTC). Source: Tradingview
One of the main beneficiaries of the rally has unquestionably been Ripple’s XRP. Over the last 24 hours, the price of XRP has jumped by 13%, bringing its total gains over the week prior to 40%. The rally has seen XRP set a new 30 day high of $0.911.
The seven day price chart for Ripple (XRP). Source: Tradingview
The explosive price shift of Ripple’s XRP has seen its market cap reach $41 billion, leading to it overtaking both Solana (SOL) and Cardano (ADA) to become the 6th largest cryptocurrency. XRP now only has USD Coin left to displace in order to reclaim its place in the top 5 cryptos by market cap.
- Several analysts, including Noelle Acheson, the head of market insights at Genesis, are uncertain about Bitcoin’s recent gains, cautioning that it may simply be a “bounce.”
Sequoia Leads $450 Million Polygon Investment, KPMG Adds BTC and Ether
In a bid to expand its portfolio, Polygon, an Ethereum Layer-2 scaling solution, has raised $450 million in a new venture financing round. The round saw backing from Sequoia Capital and 40 other major VC firms, including SoftBank and Tiger Global.
Polygon is expected to use the funds raised in order to consolidate its lead in the race to scale Ethereum and develop a larger developer ecosystem. With this boost, Polygon is looking to pave the way for the mass adoption of Web 3.0 applications.
In related news, one of the big four auditors, KPMG Canada, has become the latest publicly traded company to add Bitcoin and Ethereum to its balance sheets. The firm also integrated carbon offsets in order to maintain a net-zero carbon transaction.
In an official press statement, KPMG revealed that the investment reflected their “belief that institutional adoption of crypto assets and blockchain technology will continue to grow and become a regular part of the asset mix.”
- Tesla, one of the primary initial and biggest investors into Bitcoin, reported an impairment loss of $101 million on its Bitcoin holdings for 2021.
Why You Should Care
Venture capital firms continue to bet big on cryptocurrency and blockchain in general, backing the premise that the technology will lead the way in revolutionizing the future of the internet and finance.
Cash App Enables Lightning Network, Meta Freezes Novi Digital Wallet
Less than a month on from announcing its intention to integrate the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a Layer 2 scaling solution, Cash App has officially rolled out the feature. The mobile payment service announced that its users can now transfer Bitcoin through its app.
Users of Cash App can now send their BTC to any Lightning, or on-chain BTC address. As it currently stands, not all users will be able utilize the benefits of the Bitcoin Lightning Network, as Cash App announced that “at this time New York residents aren’t eligible for Lightning,”
- While Jack Dorsey’s payment service has applied an exciting upgrade, Mark Zuckerberg’s Novi digital wallet project has been frozen by Meta.
- Novi was initially developed to work in tandem with then-Facebook’s Diem stablecoin. However, with the Diem project now out of commission as a result of regulatory pushback, Meta has reportedly shut down the Novi Wallet project as well.
Why You Should Care
Jack Dorsey recently explained the benefits of Cash App and crypto, comparing the 99% success rate of merchants in getting the point of sale equipment, compared with the 40% of traditional service providers.
Google Cloud Integrates Crypto Mining Malware Threat Detection Feature
On Monday, February 7th, Google Cloud unveiled Virtual Machine Threat Detection (VMTD) designed to aid users in detecting malware that mines cryptocurrency on a compromised Cloud account.
The development of the software has come in response to the growing trend of compromised Google Cloud accounts used for the purposes of mining crypto. In a report published in November 2021, Google reported that 86% of all compromised accounts were used by “malicious actors” to mine cryptocurrencies.
Google has now launched the VMTD to protect its cloud users from malicious actors. Google adds that many attacks are typically successful “due to poor hygiene and a lack of basic control implementation.” The feature is available on the “settings” page in the security command center.
- This feature has so far only been released as a “public preview,” with Google promising to integrate VMTD with other aspects of its service over the next few months.
Why You Should Care
VMTD will be able to protect Google Cloud Platform customers against attacks such as data exfiltration and ransomware.